Mystery Macro. The Car Guy was playing with the macro (close-up) setting on my little Panasonic camera. What do you think he took a picture of? Hint, he was sitting at his desk, enjoying his breakfast beverage. (Answer at the end of this post).
Sometimes you don’t have what you thought you had, but what you got was pretty good… In this case, the landscaper told us he had planted a navel orange tree, and it turns out we probably have a tangelo. Seedless fruit, a bit hard to peel, with a distinctive bump on the top – a nice fruit for breakfast.
Answer to the Mystery Macro – the handle of a black coffee mug with reflections from the window.
I thought I had met most of the residents of my forest (north of Calgary, Alberta) – I’ve been tromping along it’s paths looking at plants and birds and bugs for 26 years! But in early June, I discovered a ‘new to me’ plant – a Striped Coralroot Orchid. I don’t know how long this tiny 13 cm (5 inch) plant has lived here – perhaps for years, or maybe it is a fairly new arrival!
Robert Frosts poem, On Going Unnoticed, exactly captured my thoughts as I looked down on the small clump of beautiful pinky-red flowers – they “… look up small from the forest’s feet“. If I hadn’t been walking in that area at the same moment that a small shaft of sunlight briefly illuminated the tiny plants, I would probably never have found them.
Plant Profile Common Name: Striped Coralroot Orchid Scientific Name: Corallorhiza striata Native to: Found in shaded forests and wooded areas across southern Canada and the western and central United States Growth: Coralroot is a member of the orchid family, with underground rhizomatous stems that resemble coral. It is a non-photosynthetic plant with leaves that are little more than scales on the stems. The Coralroot Orchid in my yard is almost 5 inches tall. Blooms: It produces a mass of yellowish pink to red flowers, with several darker purple veins giving the appearance of stripes. In my yard, it bloomed in early June. Comment: The plants get nourishment from dead leaf matter by being parasites of fungi in the soil.
The first photo in the sequence below was one of the bubbles without any filters. The second photo was after sharpening. The third photo was smudged and textured. The last photo was converted to greys and textured. When I was done, I felt a bit like a Witch reciting transformation incantations…
Can you guess what these ‘abstract photos’ are – from the hints in the quotations below the photo?
There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age. In the cut-glass age, when young ladies had persuaded young men with long, curly mustaches to marry them, they sat down several months afterward and wrote thank-you notes for all sorts of cut-glass presents…
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut-Glass Bowl –
…we live on the edge of the abstract all the time. Look at something solid in the known world: an automobile. Separate the fender, the hood, the roof, lie them on the garage floor, walk around them. Let go of the urge to reassemble the car or to pronounce fender, hood, roof. Look at them as curve, line, form.
― Natalie Goldberg, Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing –
The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship.
– Norman Douglas –
Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch or you might simply get covered in sap and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors where it is harder to get a splinter.
― Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril –
Here are what the photos are:
The first is a close up look at a cut-glass bowl.
The second is the side of the hood of a 1934 Ford custom roadster – sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2016 for $60,500.
The third is a close up of spruce tree needles peeking out of the snow.
The last is a drop of spruce resin (sap).